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Rule

Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-2021-2022 and 2022-2023 Subsistence Taking of Fish Regulations

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Forest Service, Agriculture; Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule revises regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use and rural determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. This rule also revises rural determinations.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 6, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

The Board meeting transcripts are available for review at the Office of Subsistence Management, 1011 East Tudor Road, Mail Stop 121, Anchorage, AK 99503, or on the Office of Subsistence Management website (https://www.doi.gov/​subsistence). The comments received in response to the proposed rule are available on www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R7-SM-2019-0092.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chair, Federal Subsistence Board, c/o U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attention: Sue Detwiler, Office of Subsistence Management; (907) 786-3888 or subsistence@fws.gov. For questions specific to National Forest System lands, contact Gregory Risdahl, Subsistence Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Alaska Region; (907) 302-7354 or gregory.risdahl@usda.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 U.S.C. 3111-3126), the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretaries) jointly implement the Federal Subsistence Management Program. This program provides a preference for take of fish and wildlife resources for subsistence uses on Federal public lands and waters in Alaska. The Secretaries published temporary regulations to carry out this program in the Federal Register on June 29, 1990 (55 FR 27114), and published final regulations in the Federal Register on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22940). The Program managers have subsequently amended these regulations a number of times. Because this program is a joint effort between Interior and Agriculture, these regulations are located in two titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Title 36, “Parks, Forests, and Public Property,” and Title 50, “Wildlife and Fisheries,” at 36 CFR 242.1-242.28 and 50 CFR 100.1-100.28, respectively. The regulations contain subparts as follows: Subpart A, General Provisions; Subpart B, Program Structure; Subpart C, Board Determinations; and Subpart D, Subsistence Taking of Fish and Wildlife.

Consistent with subpart B of these regulations, the Secretaries established a Federal Subsistence Board to administer the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The Board comprises:

  • A Chair appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture;
  • The Alaska Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
  • The Alaska Regional Director, National Park Service;
  • The Alaska State Director, Bureau of Land Management;
  • The Alaska Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs;
  • The Alaska Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service; and
  • Two public members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture.

Through the Board, these agencies participate in the development of regulations for subparts C and D, which, among other things, set forth program eligibility and specific harvest seasons and limits.

In administering the program, the Secretaries divided Alaska into 10 subsistence resource regions, each of Start Printed Page 17714which is represented by a Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council (Council). The Councils provide a forum for rural residents with personal knowledge of local conditions and resource requirements to have a meaningful role in the subsistence management of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands in Alaska. The Council members represent varied geographical, cultural, and user interests within each region.

The Board addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle. Section __.24 (customary and traditional use determinations) was originally published in the Federal Register on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22940). The regulations at 36 CFR 242.4 and 50 CFR 100.4 define “customary and traditional use” as “a long-established, consistent pattern of use, incorporating beliefs and customs which have been transmitted from generation to generation. . . .” Since 1992, the Board has made a number of customary and traditional use determinations at the request of affected subsistence users. Those modifications for fish and shellfish, along with some administrative corrections, were published in the Federal Register as follows:

Modifications to § __.24

Federal Register citationDate of publicationRule made changes to the following provisions of __.24
59 FR 27462May 27, 1994Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
59 FR 51855October 13, 1994Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
60 FR 10317February 24, 1995Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
61 FR 39698July 30, 1996Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
62 FR 29016May 29, 1997Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
63 FR 35332June 29, 1998Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
63 FR 46148August 28, 1998Wildlife and Fish/Shellfish.
64 FR 1276January 8, 1999Fish/Shellfish.
66 FR 10142February 13, 2001Fish/Shellfish.
67 FR 5890February 7, 2002Fish/Shellfish.
68 FR 7276February 12, 2003Fish/Shellfish.
69 FR 5018February 3, 2004Fish/Shellfish.
70 FR 13377March 21, 2005Fish/Shellfish.
71 FR 15569March 29, 2006Fish/Shellfish.
72 FR 12676March 16, 2007Fish/Shellfish.
72 FR 73426December 27, 2007Wildlife/Fish.
74 FR 14049March 30, 2009Fish/Shellfish.
76 FR 12564March 8, 2011Fish/Shellfish.
77 FR 35482June 13, 2012Wildlife.
79 FR 35232June 19, 2014Wildlife.
81 FR 52528August 8, 2016Wildlife.
83 FR 3079January 23, 2018Fish.
83 FR 50758October 9, 2018Wildlife.
84 FR 39744August 12, 2019Fish.
85 FR 74796November 23, 2020Wildlife.

Current Rule

The Departments published a proposed rule, Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska—2021-22 and 2022-23 Subsistence Taking of Fish Regulations, on February 19, 2020 (85 FR 9430), to amend the fish section of subparts C and D of 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100. The proposed rule opened a comment period, which closed on April 20, 2020. The Departments advertised the proposed rule by mail, email, web page, social media, radio, and newspaper, and comments were submitted via www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FWS-R7-SM-2019-0092. During that period, the Councils met and, in addition to other Council business, received suggestions for proposals from the public. The Board received a total of 13 proposals for changes to subpart D. In addition, 12 fisheries closure reviews were presented for comment as required by Board policy that specifies a 3-year review of all closures. Comments were also requested on a subpart C proposal addressing rural determination. After the comment period closed, the Board prepared a booklet describing the proposals and distributed it to the public. The proposals were also available online. The public then had an additional 70 days in which to comment on the proposed regulatory changes, which ended on July 2, 2020.

The 10 Councils met again, received public comments, and formulated their recommendations to the Board on proposals for their respective regions. The Councils had a substantial role in reviewing the proposed rule and making recommendations for the final rule. Moreover, a Council Chair, or a designated representative, presented each Councils' recommendations at the Board's public meeting of January 26-29, 2021. These final regulations reflect Board review and consideration of Council recommendations, Tribal and Alaska Native corporation consultations, and public comments. The public received extensive opportunity to review and comment on all changes.

Of the 14 valid proposals and 12 fishery closure reviews, 16 were on the Board's non-consensus agenda and 10 were on the consensus agenda. The consensus agenda is made up of proposals for which there is agreement among the affected Councils, a majority of the Interagency Staff Committee members, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game concerning a proposed regulatory action. Anyone may request that the Board remove a proposal from the consensus agenda and place it on the non-consensus agenda. The Board votes en masse on the consensus agenda after deliberation and action on all other proposals.

Of the proposals on the consensus agenda, the Board adopted eight and rejected two. Analysis and justification for the action taken on each proposal on the consensus agenda are available for review at the Office of Subsistence Management, 1011 East Tudor Road, Start Printed Page 17715Mail Stop 121, Anchorage, AK 99503, or on the Office of Subsistence Management website (https://www.doi.gov/​subsistence). Of the proposals on the non-consensus agenda, the Board adopted one; adopted one with modification; rejected six; and deferred eight.

Summary of Non-Consensus Proposals Not Adopted by the Board

The Board rejected six non-consensus proposals and deferred eight. The rejected proposals were recommended for rejection by the majority of the affected Councils or as noted below.

Yukon-Northern Area

The Board voted to maintain a closure to the take of all fish on the Jim River drainage, with the expectation that the affected Councils will submit a special action and followup proposal to establish a season and harvest limits. The affected Councils recommended a modification to establish a season with harvest limits; however, this would have gone beyond the scope of the closure review and would not have allowed for the public review process or Tribal consultations regarding a new season and harvest limits.

The Board voted to maintain a closure to the take of Arctic Grayling on Nome Creek in the Yukon River drainage, with the expectation that the affected Councils will submit a special action and followup proposal to establish a season and harvest limits. At the Board's meeting, new data was presented that was not available to the Councils during their original discussions and recommendations to the Board. The Council Chairs supported this action.

Kuskokwim Area

The Board rejected a proposal that would have reduced the required distance between set nets. This action was to prevent overcrowding in the fishing area and was supported by both affected Councils.

Aleutian Islands, Alaska Peninsula and Chignik, and Kodiak Areas

The Board deferred seven fishery closure reviews, which are in the Kodiak/Aleutians Regional Advisory Council region, to allow for the Council to have additional time to meet with remote communities and have further discussions and allow for additional public input. These closure reviews will be addressed during the next fisheries cycle.

Prince William Sound Area

The Board deferred a proposal to establish a dip net fishery on the lower Copper River to allow conflicting users groups an opportunity to meet and attempt to reach a compromise.

The Board rejected a proposal to require harvest reports to be submitted within 3 days. This proposal was deemed as an undue burden on subsistence users and was supported by both affected Councils.

The Board rejected a proposal that would have prohibited the use of mono-filament and multifilament mesh dip nets during specified times along the upper Copper River. This proposal was deemed as an undue burden on subsistence users and was supported by both affected Councils.

The Board rejected a proposal that would have prohibited fishing with dip nets from boats or watercraft along the upper Copper River. This action would have reduced opportunity for subsistence users and was supported by one Council and opposed by another.

Summary of Non-Consensus Proposals Adopted by the Board

The Board adopted one proposal and one proposal with modification on the non-consensus agenda. The modification was suggested by the affected Council and developed during the analysis process. All of the adopted proposals were recommended for adoption by at least one of the Councils as noted below.

Prince William Sound Area

The Board adopted a proposal to prohibit the use of bathymetry and or fish locator devices while fishing on the upper Copper River. This regulation does not require the removal or uninstallation of these devices from the boat or watercraft. This action was supported by one Council and opposed by another.

Southcentral Region

The Board adopted with modification a proposal that determined the community (Census Designated Place) of Moose Pass as rural. The Board modified this determination to also include the Census Designated Places of Crown Point and Primrose. This action was supported by the affected Council.

These final regulations reflect Board review and consideration of Council recommendations, Tribal and Alaska Native corporation consultations, and public comments. While all public comments received on the proposed rule were considered, some were outside the scope of this rulemaking action. Because this rule concerns public lands managed by an agency or agencies in both the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, identical text will be incorporated into 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100.

Conformance With Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

Administrative Procedure Act Compliance

The Board has provided extensive opportunity for public input and involvement in compliance with Administrative Procedure Act requirements, including publishing a proposed rule in the Federal Register , participation in multiple Council meetings, additional public review and comment on all proposals for regulatory change, and opportunity for additional public comment during the Board meeting prior to deliberation. Additionally, an administrative mechanism exists (and has been used by the public) to request reconsideration of the Board's decision on any particular proposal for regulatory change (36 CFR 242.20 and 50 CFR 100.20). Therefore, the Board believes that sufficient public notice and opportunity for involvement have been given to affected persons regarding Board decisions.

In the more than 30 years that the Program has been operating, no benefit to the public has been demonstrated by delaying the effective date of the subsistence regulations. A lapse in regulatory control could affect the continued viability of fish or wildlife populations and future subsistence opportunities for rural Alaskans, and would generally fail to serve the overall public interest. Therefore, the Board finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective upon the date set forth in DATES to ensure continued operation of the subsistence program.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement that described four alternatives for developing a Federal Subsistence Management Program was distributed for public comment on October 7, 1991. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was published on February 28, 1992. The Record of Decision (ROD) on Subsistence Management for Federal Public Lands in Alaska was signed April 6, 1992. The selected alternative in the FEIS (Alternative IV) defined the administrative framework of an annual regulatory cycle for subsistence regulations.Start Printed Page 17716

A 1997 environmental assessment dealt with the expansion of Federal jurisdiction over fisheries and is available at the office listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The Secretary of the Interior, with concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture, determined that expansion of Federal jurisdiction does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the human environment and, therefore, signed a Finding of No Significant Impact.

Section 810 of ANILCA

An ANILCA section 810 analysis was completed as part of the FEIS process on the Federal Subsistence Management Program. The intent of all Federal subsistence regulations is to accord subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on public lands a priority over the taking of fish and wildlife on such lands for other purposes, unless restriction is necessary to conserve healthy fish and wildlife populations. The final section 810 analysis determination appeared in the April 6, 1992, ROD and concluded that the Program, under Alternative IV with an annual process for setting subsistence regulations, may have some local impacts on subsistence uses, but will not likely restrict subsistence uses significantly.

During the subsequent environmental assessment process for extending fisheries jurisdiction, an evaluation of the effects of this rule was conducted in accordance with section 810. That evaluation also supported the Secretaries' determination that the rule will not reach the “may significantly restrict” threshold that would require notice and hearings under ANILCA section 810(a).

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)

This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB has reviewed and approved the collections of information associated with the subsistence regulations at 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100, and assigned OMB Control Number 1018-0075, with an expiration date of January 31. 2024. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of flexibility analyses for rules that will have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, which include small businesses, organizations, or governmental jurisdictions. In general, the resources to be harvested under this rule are already being harvested and consumed by the local harvester and do not result in an additional dollar benefit to the economy. However, we estimate that two million pounds of meat are harvested by subsistence users annually and, if given an estimated dollar value of $3.00 per pound, this amount would equate to about $6 million in food value Statewide. Based upon the amounts and values cited above, the Departments certify that this rulemaking will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), this rule is not a major rule. It does not have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more, will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, and does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Executive Order 12630

Title VIII of ANILCA requires the Secretaries to administer a subsistence priority on public lands. The scope of this Program is limited by definition to certain public lands. Likewise, these regulations have no potential takings of private property implications as defined by Executive Order 12630.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Secretaries have determined and certify pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State governments or private entities. The implementation of this rule is by Federal agencies, and there is no cost imposed on any State or local entities or Tribal governments.

Executive Order 12988

The Secretaries have determined that these regulations meet the applicable standards provided in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, regarding civil justice reform.

Executive Order 13132

In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Title VIII of ANILCA precludes the State from exercising subsistence management authority over fish and wildlife resources on Federal lands unless it meets certain requirements.

Executive Order 13175

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Title VIII, does not provide specific rights to Tribes for the subsistence taking of wildlife, fish, and shellfish. However, the Board provided federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native corporations opportunities to consult on this rule. Consultation with Alaska Native corporations are based on Public Law 108-199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Public Law 108-447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267, which provides that: “The Director of the Office of Management and Budget and all Federal agencies shall hereafter consult with Alaska Native corporations on the same basis as Indian Tribes under Executive Order No. 13175.”

The Secretaries, through the Board, provided a variety of opportunities for consultation: commenting on proposed changes to the existing rule; engaging in dialogue at the Council meetings; engaging in dialogue at the Board's meetings; and providing input in Start Printed Page 17717person, by mail, email, or phone at any time during the rulemaking process.

On January 26, 2021, the Board provided federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations a specific opportunity to consult on this rule prior to the start of its public regulatory meeting. federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations were notified by mail and telephone and were given the opportunity to attend via teleconference.

Executive Order 13211

This Executive Order requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. However, this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, affecting energy supply, distribution, or use, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

Drafting Information

Theo Matuskowitz drafted these regulations under the guidance of Sue Detwiler of the Office of Subsistence Management, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. Additional assistance was provided by

  • Paul McKee, Alaska State Office, Bureau of Land Management;
  • Dr. Joshua Ream, Alaska Regional Office, National Park Service;
  • Dr. Glenn Chen, Alaska Regional Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs;
  • Vince Mathews, Alaska Regional Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and
  • Gregory Risdahl, Alaska Regional Office, USDA Forest Service.
Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects

36 CFR Part 242

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Alaska
  • Fish
  • National forests
  • Public lands
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Wildlife

50 CFR Part 100

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Alaska
  • Fish
  • National forests
  • Public lands
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Wildlife
End List of Subjects

Regulation Promulgation

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Subsistence Board amends title 36, part 242, and title 50, part 100, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below.

Start Part

PART _—SUBSISTENCE MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC LANDS IN ALASKA

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for both 36 CFR part 242 and 50 CFR part 100 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3, 472, 551, 668dd, 3101-3126; 18 U.S.C. 3551-3586; 43 U.S.C. 1733.

End Authority

Subpart C—Board Determinations

Start Amendment Part

2. Amend § __.23 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Rural determinations.

(a) The Board has determined all communities and areas to be rural in accordance with § 100.15 except the following: Fairbanks North Star Borough; Homer area—including Homer, Anchor Point, Kachemak City, and Fritz Creek; Juneau area—including Juneau, West Juneau, and Douglas; Kenai area—including Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling, Nikiski, Salamatof, Kalifornsky, Kasilof, and Clam Gulch; Ketchikan area—including Ketchikan City, Clover Pass, North Tongass Highway, Ketchikan East, Mountain Point, Herring Cove, Saxman East, Pennock Island, and parts of Gravina Island; Municipality of Anchorage; Seward area—including Seward and Valdez, and Wasilla/Palmer area—including Wasilla, Palmer, Sutton, Big Lake, Houston, and Bodenberg Butte.

* * * * *

Subpart D—Subsistence Taking of Fish and Wildlife

Start Amendment Part

3. Amend § __.27 by revising paragraphs (e)(3), (4), (5), (10), and (11) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Subsistence taking of fish.
* * * * *

(e) * * *

(3) Yukon-Northern Area. The Yukon-Northern Area includes all waters of Alaska between the latitude of Point Romanof and the latitude of the westernmost point of the Naskonat Peninsula, including those waters draining into the Bering Sea, and all waters of Alaska north of the latitude of the westernmost tip of Point Hope and west of 141° West longitude, including those waters draining into the Arctic Ocean and the Chukchi Sea.

(i) Unless otherwise restricted in this section, you may take fish in the Yukon-Northern Area at any time. In those locations where subsistence fishing permits are required, only one subsistence fishing permit will be issued to each household per year. You may subsistence fish for salmon with rod and reel in the Yukon River drainage 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, unless rod and reel are specifically otherwise restricted in this paragraph (e)(3).

(ii) For the Yukon River drainage, Federal subsistence fishing schedules, openings, closings, and fishing methods are the same as those issued for the subsistence taking of fish under Alaska Statutes (AS 16.05.060), unless superseded by a Federal special action.

(iii) In the following locations, you may take salmon during the open weekly fishing periods of the State commercial salmon fishing season and may not take them for 24 hours before the opening of the State commercial salmon fishing season:

(A) In District 4, excluding the Koyukuk River drainage;

(B) In Subdistricts 4B and 4C from June 15 through September 30, salmon may be taken from 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 p.m. Friday;

(C) In District 6, excluding the Kantishna River drainage, salmon may be taken from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

(iv) During any State commercial salmon fishing season closure of greater than 5 days in duration, you may not take salmon during the following periods in the following districts:

(A) In District 4, excluding the Koyukuk River drainage, salmon may not be taken from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Sunday;

(B) In District 5, excluding the Tozitna River drainage and Subdistrict 5D, salmon may not be taken from 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

(v) Except as provided in this section, and except as may be provided by the terms of a subsistence fishing permit, you may take fish other than salmon at any time.

(vi) In Districts 1, 2, 3, and Subdistrict 4A, excluding the Koyukuk and Innoko River drainages, you may not take salmon for subsistence purposes during the 24 hours immediately before the opening of the State commercial salmon fishing season.

(vii) In Districts 1, 2, and 3:

(A) After the opening of the State commercial salmon fishing season through July 15, you may not take salmon for subsistence for 18 hours immediately before, during, and for 12 hours after each State commercial salmon fishing period;

(B) After July 15, you may not take salmon for subsistence for 12 hours immediately before, during, and for 12 hours after each State commercial salmon fishing period.

(viii) In Subdistrict 4A after the opening of the State commercial salmon fishing season, you may not take salmon for subsistence for 12 hours immediately before, during, and for 12 hours after each State commercial salmon fishing period; however, you may take Chinook salmon during the Start Printed Page 17718State commercial fishing season, with drift gillnet gear only, from 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 p.m. Friday.

(ix) You may not subsistence fish in the following drainages located north of the main Yukon River:

(A) Kanuti River upstream from a point 5 miles downstream of the State highway crossing;

(B) Bonanza Creek;

(C) Jim River including Prospect and Douglas Creeks.

(x) You may not subsistence fish in the Delta River.

(xi) In Beaver Creek downstream from the confluence of Moose Creek, a gillnet with mesh size not to exceed 3-inches stretch-measure may be used from June 15 through September 15. You may subsistence fish for all non-salmon species but may not target salmon during this time period (retention of salmon taken incidentally to non-salmon directed fisheries is allowed). From the mouth of Nome Creek downstream to the confluence of Moose Creek, only rod and reel may be used. From the mouth of Nome Creek downstream to the confluence of O'Brien Creek, the daily harvest and possession limit is 5 grayling; from the mouth of O'Brien Creek downstream to the confluence of Moose Creek, the daily harvest and possession limit is 10 grayling. The Nome Creek drainage of Beaver Creek is closed to subsistence fishing for grayling.

(xii) You may take salmon only by gillnet, beach seine, dip net, fish wheel, or rod and reel, subject to the restrictions set forth in this section.

(A) In the Yukon River drainage, you may not take salmon for subsistence fishing using gillnets with stretched mesh larger than 7.5 inches.

(B) In Subdistrict 5D you may take salmon once the mid-range of the Canadian interim management escapement goal and the total allowable catch goal are projected to be achieved.

(C) Salmon may be harvested by dip net at any time, except during times of conservation when the Federal in-season manager may announce restrictions on time, areas, and species.

(xiii) In District 4, if you are a commercial fisherman, you may not take salmon for subsistence purposes during the State commercial salmon fishing season using gillnets with stretched-mesh larger than 6 inches after a date specified by ADF&G emergency order issued between July 10 and July 31.

(xiv) In Districts 5 and 6, you may not take salmon for subsistence purposes by drift gillnets.

(xv) In District 4 salmon may be taken by drift gillnet not more than 150 feet in length unless restricted by special action or as modified by regulations in this section.

(xvi) Unless otherwise specified in this section, you may take fish other than salmon by set gillnet, drift gillnet, beach seine, fish wheel, long line, fyke net, dip net, jigging gear, spear, lead, or rod and reel, subject to the following restrictions, which also apply to subsistence salmon fishing:

(A) During the open weekly fishing periods of the State commercial salmon fishing season, if you are a commercial fisherman, you may not operate more than one type of gear at a time, for commercial, personal use, and subsistence purposes.

(B) You may not use an aggregate length of set gillnet in excess of 150 fathoms, and each drift gillnet may not exceed 50 fathoms in length.

(C) In Districts 4, 5, and 6, you may not set subsistence fishing gear within 200 feet of other fishing gear operating for commercial, personal, or subsistence use except that, at the site approximately 1 mile upstream from Ruby on the south bank of the Yukon River between ADF&G regulatory markers containing the area known locally as the “Slide,” you may set subsistence fishing gear within 200 feet of other operating commercial or subsistence fishing gear, and in District 4, from Old Paradise Village upstream to a point 4 miles upstream from Anvik, there is no minimum distance requirement between fish wheels.

(D) During the State commercial salmon fishing season, within the Yukon River and the Tanana River below the confluence of the Wood River, you may use drift gillnets and fish wheels only during open subsistence salmon fishing periods.

(E) In Birch Creek, gillnet mesh size may not exceed 3-inches stretch-measure from June 15 through September 15.

(F) In Racetrack Slough on the Koyukuk River and in the sloughs of the Huslia River drainage, from when each river is free of ice through June 15, the offshore end of the set gillnet may not be closer than 20 feet from the opposite bank except that sloughs 40 feet or less in width may have34 width coverage with set gillnet, unless closed by Federal special action.

(xvii) In District 4, from September 21 through May 15, you may use jigging gear from shore ice.

(xviii) You must possess a subsistence fishing permit for the following locations:

(A) For the Yukon River drainage from the mouth of Hess Creek to the mouth of the Dall River;

(B) For the Yukon River drainage from the upstream mouth of 22 Mile Slough to the U.S.-Canada border;

(C) Only for salmon in the Tanana River drainage above the mouth of the Wood River.

(xix) Only one subsistence fishing permit will be issued to each household per year.

(xx) In Districts 1, 2, and 3, from June 1 through July 15. If ADF&G has announced that Chinook salmon can be sold in the commercial fisheries, you may not possess Chinook salmon taken for subsistence purposes unless both tips (lobes) of the tail fin have been removed before the person conceals the salmon from plain view or transfers the salmon from the fishing site.

(xxi) In the Yukon River drainage, Chinook salmon must be used primarily for human consumption and may not be targeted for dog food. Dried Chinook salmon may not be used for dog food anywhere in the Yukon River drainage. Whole fish unfit for human consumption (due to disease, deterioration, and deformities), scraps, and small fish (16 inches or less) may be fed to dogs. Also, whole Chinook salmon caught incidentally during a subsistence chum salmon fishery in the following time periods and locations may be fed to dogs:

(A) After July 10 in the Koyukuk River drainage;

(B) After August 10, in Subdistrict 5D, upstream of Circle City.

(4) Kuskokwim Area. The Kuskokwim Area consists of all waters of Alaska between the latitude of the westernmost point of Naskonat Peninsula and the latitude of the southernmost tip of Cape Newenham, including the waters of Alaska surrounding Nunivak and St. Matthew Islands and those waters draining into the Bering Sea.

(i) Unless otherwise restricted in this section, you may take fish in the Kuskokwim Area at any time without a subsistence fishing permit.

(ii) For the Kuskokwim area, Federal subsistence fishing schedules, openings, closings, and fishing methods are the same as those issued for the subsistence taking of fish under Alaska Statutes (AS 16.05.060), except the use of gillnets with 6-inch or less mesh size is allowed before June 1 in the Kuskokwim River drainage, unless superseded by a Federal special action.

(iii) In Districts 4 and 5, from June 1 through September 8, you may not take salmon for 16 hours before or during and for 6 hours after each State open Start Printed Page 17719commercial salmon fishing period in each district.

(iv) In District 2, and anywhere in tributaries that flow into the Kuskokwim River within that district, you may subsistence fish for salmon with rod and reel 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, unless rod and reel are specifically restricted by this paragraph (e)(4).

(v) You may not take subsistence fish by nets in the Goodnews River east of a line between ADF&G regulatory markers placed near the mouth of the Ufigag River and an ADF&G regulatory marker placed near the mouth of the Tunulik River 16 hours before or during and for 6 hours after each State open commercial salmon fishing period.

(vi) You may not take subsistence fish by nets in the Kanektok River upstream of ADF&G regulatory markers placed near the mouth 16 hours before or during and for 6 hours after each State open commercial salmon fishing period.

(vii) You may not take subsistence fish by nets in the Arolik River upstream of ADF&G regulatory markers placed near the mouth 16 hours before or during and for 6 hours after each State open commercial salmon fishing period.

(viii) You may only take salmon by gillnet, beach seine, fish wheel, dip net, or rod and reel subject to the restrictions set out in this section, except that you may also take salmon by spear in the Kanektok, and Arolik River drainages, and in the drainage of Goodnews Bay.

(ix) You may not use an aggregate length of set gillnets or drift gillnets in excess of 50 fathoms for taking salmon.

(x) You may take fish other than salmon by set gillnet, drift gillnet, beach seine, fish wheel, pot, long line, fyke net, dip net, jigging gear, spear, lead, handline, or rod and reel.

(xi) You must attach to the bank each subsistence set gillnet operated in tributaries of the Kuskokwim River and fish it substantially perpendicular to the bank and in a substantially straight line.

(xii) Within a tributary to the Kuskokwim River in that portion of the Kuskokwim River drainage from the north end of Eek Island upstream to the mouth of the Kolmakoff River, you may not set or operate any part of a set gillnet within 150 feet of any part of another set gillnet.

(xiii) The maximum depth of gillnets is as follows:

(A) Gillnets with 6-inch or smaller stretched-mesh may not be more than 45 meshes in depth;

(B) Gillnets with greater than 6-inch stretched-mesh may not be more than 35 meshes in depth.

(xiv) You may not use subsistence set and drift gillnets exceeding 15 fathoms in length in Whitefish Lake in the Ophir Creek drainage. You may not operate more than one subsistence set or drift gillnet at a time in Whitefish Lake in the Ophir Creek drainage. You must check the net at least once every 24 hours.

(xv) You may take rainbow trout only in accordance with the following restrictions:

(A) You may take rainbow trout only by the use of gillnets, dip nets, fyke nets, handline, spear, rod and reel, or jigging through the ice;

(B) You may not use gillnets, dip nets, or fyke nets for targeting rainbow trout from March 15 through June 15;

(C) If you take rainbow trout incidentally in other subsistence net fisheries and through the ice, you may retain them for subsistence purposes;

(D) There are no harvest limits with handline, spear, rod and reel, or jigging.

(xvi) All tributaries not expressly closed by Federal special action, or as modified by regulations in this section, remain open to the use of gillnets more than 100 yards upstream from their confluence with the Kuskokwim River.

(5) Bristol Bay Area. The Bristol Bay Area includes all waters of Bristol Bay, including drainages enclosed by a line from Cape Newenham to Cape Menshikof.

(i) Unless restricted in this section, or unless under the terms of a subsistence fishing permit, you may take fish at any time in the Bristol Bay area.

(ii) You may not take fish from waters within 300 feet of a stream mouth used by salmon.

(iii) You may not subsistence fish with nets in the Tazimina River and within one-fourth mile of the terminus of those waters during the period from September 1 through June 14.

(iv) Unless otherwise specified, you may take salmon by set gillnet only.

(A) You may also take salmon by spear in the Togiak River, excluding its tributaries.

(B) You may also use drift gillnets not greater than 10 fathoms in length to take salmon in the Togiak River in the first 2 river miles upstream from the mouth of the Togiak River to the ADF&G regulatory markers.

(C) You may also take salmon without a permit in Sixmile Lake and its tributaries within and adjacent to the exterior boundaries of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve unless otherwise prohibited, and Lake Clark and its tributaries, by snagging (by handline or rod and reel), using a spear, bow and arrow, rod and reel, or capturing by bare hand.

(D) You may also take salmon by beach seines not exceeding 25 fathoms in length in Lake Clark, excluding its tributaries.

(E) You may also take fish (except rainbow trout) with a fyke net and lead in tributaries of Lake Clark and the tributaries of Sixmile Lake within and adjacent to the exterior boundaries of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve unless otherwise prohibited.

(1) You may use a fyke net and lead only with a permit issued by the Federal in-season manager.

(2) All fyke nets and leads must be attended at all times while in use.

(3) All materials used to construct the fyke net and lead must be made of wood and be removed from the water when the fyke net and lead is no longer in use.

(v) The maximum lengths for set gillnets used to take salmon are as follows:

(A) You may not use set gillnets exceeding 10 fathoms in length in the Egegik River;

(B) In the remaining waters of the area, you may not use set gillnets exceeding 25 fathoms in length.

(vi) You may not operate any part of a set gillnet within 300 feet of any part of another set gillnet.

(vii) You must stake and buoy each set gillnet. Instead of having the identifying information on a keg or buoy attached to the gillnet, you may plainly and legibly inscribe your first initial, last name, and subsistence permit number on a sign at or near the set gillnet.

(viii) You may not operate or assist in operating subsistence salmon net gear while simultaneously operating or assisting in operating commercial salmon net gear.

(ix) You may take fish other than salmon, herring, and capelin by gear listed in this part unless restricted under the terms of a subsistence fishing permit.

(x) You may take salmon only under authority of a State subsistence salmon permit (permits are issued by ADF&G) except when using a Federal permit for fyke net and lead.

(xi) Only one State subsistence fishing permit for salmon and one Federal permit for use of a fyke net and lead for all fish (except rainbow trout) may be issued to each household per year.

(xii) In the Togiak River drainage:

(A) You may not possess coho salmon taken under the authority of a subsistence fishing permit unless both lobes of the caudal fin (tail) or the dorsal fin have been removed.

(B) You may not possess salmon taken with a drift gillnet under the authority of a subsistence fishing permit unless Start Printed Page 17720both lobes of the caudal fin (tail) or the dorsal fin have been removed.

(xiii) You may take rainbow trout only by rod and reel or jigging gear. Rainbow trout daily harvest and possession limits are two per day/two in possession with no size limit from April 10 through October 31 and five per day/five in possession with no size limit from November 1 through April 9.

(xiv) If you take rainbow trout incidentally in other subsistence net fisheries, or through the ice, you may retain them for subsistence purposes.

* * * * *

(10) Cook Inlet Area. The Cook Inlet Area includes all waters of Alaska enclosed by a line extending east from Cape Douglas (58°51.10′ N Lat.) and a line extending south from Cape Fairfield (148°50.25′ W Long.).

(i) General area regulations. (A) Unless restricted by regulations in this section, or unless restricted under the terms of a subsistence fishing permit, you may take fish at any time in the Cook Inlet Area.

(B) If you take rainbow or steelhead trout incidentally in subsistence net fisheries, you may retain them for subsistence purposes, unless otherwise prohibited or provided for in this section. With jigging gear through the ice or rod-and-reel gear in open waters, there is an annual limit of two rainbow or steelhead trout 20 inches or longer, taken from Kenai Peninsula fresh waters.

(C) Under the authority of a Federal subsistence fishing permit, you may take only salmon, trout, Dolly Varden, and other char. Permits will be issued by the in-season manager or designated representative and will be valid for that regulatory year, except as otherwise provided for in this section, or as stated under the permit conditions, unless the season is closed or restricted by a special action.

(D) All fish taken under the authority of a Federal subsistence fishing permit must be marked and recorded prior to leaving the fishing site.

(1) The fishing site includes the particular Federal public waters and/or adjacent shoreline from which the fish were harvested.

(2) Marking means removing the dorsal fin.

(E) You may not take grayling or burbot for subsistence purposes.

(F) You may take smelt with dip nets in fresh water only from April 1 through June 15. There are no harvest or possession limits for smelt.

(G) You may take whitefish in the Tyone River drainage using gillnets.

(H) You may take fish by gear listed in this section unless restricted by other regulations in this section or under the terms of a Federal subsistence fishing permit (as may be modified by regulations in this section).

(I) Seasons, harvest and possession limits, and methods and means for take are the same as for the taking of those species under Alaska sport fishing regulations (5 AAC 56 and 5 AAC 57) unless modified herein or by issuance of a Federal special action.

(J) Applicable harvest provisions are as follows:

Table 1 to Paragraph (e)(10)

LocationMethods and meansPermit type
Kasilof River DrainageKasilof River dip net or rod and reel for salmon; Kasilof River fish wheel for salmon; Kasilof River gillnet for salmonHousehold Annual Permit.
Kenai River DrainageKenai River dip net or rod and reel for salmon; Kenai River gillnet for salmonHousehold Annual Permit.
Kasilof River DrainageTustumena Lake rod and reel for salmon; Kasilof River drainage rod and reel for resident speciesGeneral Subsistence Fishing Permit (Daily/Possession Limits).
Kenai River DrainageKenai River rod and reel only for salmon; Kenai River and tributaries under ice jigging and rod and reel for resident speciesGeneral Subsistence Fishing Permit (Daily/Possession Limits).
Tustumena LakeTustumena Lake under ice fisheryTustumena Lake Winter Permit.

(1) Harvest limits may not be accumulated.

(2) Each household may harvest its annual salmon limits in one or more days.

(3) All salmon harvested as part of a household annual limit must be reported to the Federal in-season manager within 72 hours of leaving the fishing site.

(4) For Ninilchik residents, the household annual limits for Chinook salmon in the Kasilof River and for late-run Chinook salmon in the Kenai River are combined.

(ii) Seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means for Kasilof River fisheries. Household annual limits for salmon in Kasilof River fisheries are as follows:

Table 2 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesNumber of fish allowed for each permit holderAdditional fish allowed for each household member
Sockeye255
Chinook102
Coho102
Pink102

(A) Kasilof River dip net or rod and reel; salmon. (1) Residents of Ninilchik may take sockeye, Chinook, coho, and pink salmon through a dip net or rod and reel fishery on the upper mainstem of the Kasilof River from a Federal regulatory marker on the river below the outlet of Tustumena Lake downstream to a marker on the river approximately 2.8 miles below the Tustumena Lake boat ramp.

(2) Residents using rod-and-reel gear may fish with up to two baited single or treble hooks.

(3) Other species incidentally caught during the dip net and rod and reel fishery may be retained for subsistence uses, including up to 200 rainbow/steelhead trout taken through August 15. After 200 rainbow/steelhead trout have been taken in this fishery or after August 15, all rainbow/steelhead trout must be released unless otherwise provided for in this section.

(4) Harvest seasons are as follows:

Table 3 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSeason
Sockeye salmonJune 16-August 15.
Chinook salmonJune 16-August 15.
Coho salmonJune 16-October 31.
Pink salmonJune 16-October 31.
Start Printed Page 17721

(B) Kasilof River fish wheel; salmon. (1) Residents of Ninilchik may harvest sockeye, Chinook, coho, and pink salmon through a fish wheel fishery in the Federal public waters of the upper mainstem of the Kasilof River.

(2) Residents of Ninilchik may retain other species incidentally caught in the Kasilof River fish wheel except for rainbow or steelhead trout, which must be released and returned unharmed to the water.

(3) Only one fish wheel may be operated on the Kasilof River. The fish wheel must: Have a live box, be monitored when fishing, be stopped from fishing when it is not being monitored or used, and be installed and operated in compliance with any regulations and restrictions for its use within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

(4) One registration permit will be available and will be awarded by the Federal in-season fishery manager, in consultation with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge manager, based on the merits of the operational plan. The registration permit will be issued to an organization that, as the fish wheel owner, will be responsible for its construction, installation, operation, use, and removal in consultation with the Federal fishery manager. The owner may not rent or lease the fish wheel for personal gain. As part of the permit, the organization must:

(i) Prior to the season. Provide a written operational plan to the Federal fishery manager including a description of how fishing time and fish will be offered and distributed among households and residents of Ninilchik.

(ii) During the season. Mark the fish wheel with a wood, metal, or plastic plate that is at least 12 inches high by 12 inches wide, permanently affixed, and plainly visible and that contains the following information in letters and numerals at least 1 inch high: Registration permit number; organization's name and address; and primary contact person name and telephone number.

(iii) After the season. Provide written documentation of required evaluation information to the Federal fishery manager including, but not limited to, persons or households operating the gear, hours of operation, and number of each species caught and retained or released.

(5) People operating the fish wheel must:

(i) Have in possession a valid Federal subsistence fishing permit and remain onsite to monitor the fish wheel and remove all fish at least every hour.

(ii) In addition, any person operating the fish wheel who is not the owner must attach to the fish wheel an additional wood, metal, or plastic plate that is at least 12 inches high by 12 inches wide, is plainly visible, and contains the person's fishing permit number, name, and address in letters and numerals at least 1 inch high.

(6) The organization owning the fish wheel may operate the fish wheel for subsistence purposes on behalf of residents of Ninilchik by requesting a subsistence fishing permit that:

(i) Identifies a person who will be responsible for operating the fish wheel; and

(ii) Includes provisions for recording daily catches, the household to whom the catch was given, and other information determined to be necessary for effective resource management by the Federal fishery manager.

(7) Fishing is allowed from June 16 through October 31 on the Kasilof River unless closed or otherwise restricted by Federal special action.

(C) Kasilof River gillnet; salmon. (1) Residents of Ninilchik may harvest sockeye, Chinook, coho, and pink salmon in the Federal public waters of the upper mainstem of the Kasilof River from a Federal regulatory marker on the river below the outlet of Tustumena Lake downstream to the Tustumena Lake boat launch with a single gillnet from June 16 through August 15.

(2) Only one community gillnet may be operated on the Kasilof River.

(i) The gillnet may not: Be over 10 fathoms in length, be larger than 5.25-inch mesh, and obstruct more than half of the river width with stationary fishing gear.

(ii) Subsistence stationary gillnet gear may not be set within 200 feet of other subsistence stationary gear.

(iii) The gillnet may be operated as a set gillnet in a fixed location, as a pole-net system drifted through an area while wading, or as a drift net from a boat.

(3) One registration permit will be available and will be issued by the Federal in-season fishery manager, in consultation with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge manager, to the Ninilchik Traditional Council. As the community gillnet owner, the Ninilchik Traditional Council will be responsible for its use and removal in consultation with the Federal in-season manager. As part of the permit, after the season, the Ninilchik Traditional Council must provide written documentation of required evaluation information to the Federal fishery manager including, but not limited to:

(i) Persons or households operating the gear;

(ii) Hours of operation; and

(iii) Number of each species caught and retained or released.

(4) The community gillnet is subject to compliance with applicable Kenai National Wildlife Refuge regulations and restrictions.

(5) The Ninilchik Traditional Council may operate the net for subsistence purposes on behalf of residents of Ninilchik by requesting a subsistence fishing permit that:

(i) Identifies a person who will be responsible for fishing the gillnet; and

(ii) Includes provisions for recording daily catches within 72 hours, the household to whom the catch was given, and other information determined to be necessary for effective resource management by the Federal in-season manager.

(6) Residents of Ninilchik may retain other species incidentally caught in the Kasilof River community gillnet fishery. The gillnet fishery will be closed when the retention of rainbow or steelhead trout has been restricted under Federal subsistence regulations.

(D) Tustumena Lake rod and reel; salmon. (1) In addition to the dip net and rod and reel fishery on the upper mainstem of the Kasilof River described under paragraph (e)(10)(ii)(A)(1) of this section, residents of Ninilchik may also take coho and pink salmon through a rod and reel fishery in Tustumena Lake. Fishing is allowed with up to two baited single or treble hooks.

(2) Seasons, areas, harvest and possession limits, and methods and means for take are the same as for the taking of these species under Alaska sport fishing regulations (5 AAC 56), except for the following harvest and possession limits:

Table 4 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSizeLimits
Coho salmon16 inches and longer4 per day and 4 in possession.
Pink salmon16 inches and longer6 per day and 6 in possession.
Start Printed Page 17722

(E) Kasilof drainage rod and reel; resident species. Resident fish species including lake trout, rainbow or steelhead trout, and Dolly Varden or Arctic char may be harvested by rod and reel in federally managed waters of the Kasilof River drainage the entire year as follows:

Table 5 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSpecificationsLimits
Lake troutFish 20 inches and longer4 per day and 4 in possession.
Fish less than 20 inches in length15 per day and 15 in possession.
Dolly Varden and Arctic charIn flowing waters4 per day and 4 in possession.
In lakes and ponds10 per day and 10 in possession.
Rainbow or steelhead troutIn flowing waters2 per day and 2 in possession.
In lakes and ponds5 per day and 5 in possession.

(F) Tustumena Lake under ice fishery; resident species. (1) You may fish in Tustumena Lake with a gillnet under the ice, or with jigging gear used through the ice. The gillnet may not be longer than 10 fathoms.

(2) Harvest limits are as follows:

Table 6 to Paragraph (e)(10)

MethodsLimitsAdditional provisions
Jigging gear through the iceHousehold annual limit of 30 fish in any combination of lake trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden or Arctic charHousehold limits are included in the overall total annual harvest quota.
Gillnet under the iceTotal annual harvest quota of 200 lake trout, 200 rainbow trout, and 500 Dolly Varden or Arctic charThe Federal in-season manager will issue a closure for this fishery once any of these quotas has been met.

(3) You may harvest fish under the ice only in Tustumena Lake. Gillnets are not allowed within a 1/4 mile radius of the mouth of any tributary to Tustumena Lake, or the outlet of Tustumena Lake.

(4) A permit is required. The permit will be issued by the Federal in-season manager or designated representative and will be valid for the winter season unless the season is closed by special action.

(i) The permittee must report the following information: The number of each species caught; the number of each species retained; the length, depth (number of meshes deep), and mesh size of gillnet fished; the fishing site; and the total hours fished.

(ii) The gillnet must be checked at least once in every 48-hour period.

(iii) For unattended gear, the permittee's name and address must be plainly and legibly inscribed on a stake at one end of the gillnet.

(5) Incidentally caught fish may be retained and must be recorded on the permit before transporting fish from the fishing site.

(6) Failure to return the completed harvest permit by May 31 may result in issuance of a violation notice and/or denial of a future subsistence permit.

(iii) Seasons, harvest limits, and methods and means for Kenai River fisheries. Household annual limits for salmon in Kenai River fisheries are as follows:

Table 7 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesNumber of fish allowed for each permit holderAdditional fish allowed for each household memberAdditional provisions
Sockeye salmon255Chum salmon that are retained are to be included within the annual limit for sockeye salmon.
Chinook salmon— (July 1 through July 15)21For the Kenai River community gillnet fishery described under paragraph (e)(10)(iii)(B) of this section.
Chinook salmon— (July 16 through August 31)102
Coho salmon205
Pink salmon155

(A) Kenai River dip net or rod and reel; salmon. (1) You may take only sockeye salmon through a dip net or rod and reel fishery at one specified site on the Russian River.

(i) For the Russian River fishing site, incidentally caught fish may be retained for subsistence uses, except for Chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden, which must be released.

(ii) At the Russian River Falls site, dip netting is allowed from a Federal regulatory marker near the upstream end of the fish ladder at Russian River Falls downstream to a Federal regulatory marker approximately 600 yards below Russian River Falls. Residents using rod and reel gear at this fishery site may not fish with bait at any time.

(2) You may take sockeye, Chinook, coho, and pink salmon through a dip net or rod and reel fishery at two Start Printed Page 17723specified sites on the Kenai River below Skilak Lake and as provided in this section.

(i) For both Kenai River fishing sites below Skilak Lake, incidentally caught fish may be retained for subsistence uses, except for Chinook salmon prior to July 16 (unless otherwise provided for in this section), rainbow trout 18 inches or longer, and Dolly Varden 18 inches or longer, which must be released.

(ii) At the Kenai River Moose Range Meadows site, dip netting is allowed only from a boat from a Federal regulatory marker on the Kenai River at about river mile 29 downstream approximately 2.5 miles to another marker on the Kenai River at about river mile 26.5. Residents using rod and reel gear at this fishery site may fish from boats or from shore with up to two baited single or treble hooks June 15 through August 31.

(iii) At the Kenai River mile 48 site, dip netting is allowed while either standing in the river or from a boat, from Federal regulatory markers on both sides of the Kenai River at about river mile 48 (approximately 2 miles below the outlet of Skilak Lake) downstream approximately 2.5 miles to a marker on the Kenai River at about river mile 45.5. Residents using rod and reel gear at this fishery site may fish from boats or from shore with up to two baited single or treble hooks June 15 through August 31.

(3) Fishing seasons are as follows:

Table 8 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSeasonLocation
Sockeye salmonJune 15-August 15All three sites.
Chinook salmonJuly 16-September 30Kenai River sites only.
Pink salmonJuly 16-September 30Kenai River sites only.
Coho salmonJuly 16-September 30Kenai River sites only.

(B) Kenai River gillnet; salmon. (1) Residents of Ninilchik may harvest sockeye, Chinook, coho, and pink salmon in the Moose Range Meadows area of the Federal public waters of the Kenai River with a single gillnet to be managed and operated by the Ninilchik Traditional Council.

(2) Fishing will be allowed July 1 through August 15 and September 10-30 on the Kenai River unless closed or otherwise restricted by Federal special action. The following conditions apply to harvest in the Kenai River community gillnet fishery:

(i) Salmon taken in this fishery will be included as household annual limits of participating households.

(ii) The Ninilchik Traditional Council will report all harvested fish within 72 hours of leaving the gillnet location.

(iii) Additional harvest restrictions for this fishery are as follows:

Table 9 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesPeriodHarvestFishery limits
Sockeye salmonJuly 1-August 15 and September 10-30
Chinook salmon less than 46 inches in length or greater than 55 inches in lengthJuly 1-15Fish may be retained if the most current preseason forecast from the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game projects the in-river run to be within or above the optimal escapement goal range for early-run Chinook salmon; otherwise, live fish must be releasedFishery will close until July 16 once 50 Chinook salmon have been retained or released.
Chinook salmonJuly 16-August 15Fishery will close prior to August 15 if 200 Chinook salmon have been retained or released between July 16 and that date. Fishery will reopen September 10-30 for species available at that time.
Pink salmonJuly 16-August 15 and September 10-30
Coho salmonJuly 16-August 15 and September 10-30
Incidentally caught rainbow trout and Dolly VardenAll live fish must be released. Fish that die in net may be retainedFishery will close for the season once 100 rainbow trout or 150 Dolly Varden have been released or retained.

(iv) Chinook salmon less than 20 inches in length may be retained and do not count towards retained or released totals.

(v) Other incidentally caught species may be retained; however, all incidental fish mortalities, except for Chinook salmon less than 20 inches in length, count towards released or retained totals specified in this section.

(3) Only one community gillnet may be operated on the Kenai River.

(i) The gillnet may not: Be over 10 fathoms in length to take salmon; be larger than 5.25-inch mesh; and obstruct more than half of the river width with stationary fishing gear.

(ii) Subsistence stationary gillnet gear may not be set within 200 feet of other subsistence stationary gear.

(4) One registration permit will be available and will be issued by the Federal in-season manager, in consultation with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge manager, to the Ninilchik Traditional Council. As the Start Printed Page 17724community gillnet owner, the Ninilchik Traditional Council will be responsible for its use and removal in consultation with the Federal in-season manager. As part of the permit, the Ninilchik Traditional Council must provide post-season written documentation of required evaluation information to the Federal in-season manager including, but not limited to:

(i) Persons or households operating the gear;

(ii) Hours of operation; and

(iii) Number of each species caught and retained or released.

(5) The Ninilchik Traditional Council may operate the net for subsistence purposes on behalf of residents of Ninilchik by requesting a subsistence fishing permit that:

(i) Identifies a person who will be responsible for fishing the gillnet; and

(ii) Includes provisions for recording daily catches, the household to whom the catch was given, and other information determined to be necessary for effective resource management by the Federal in-season manager.

(C) Kenai River rod and reel only; salmon. (1) For federally managed waters of the Kenai River and its tributaries, you may take sockeye, Chinook, coho, pink, and chum salmon through a separate rod and reel fishery in the Kenai River drainage.

(2) Seasons, areas, harvest and possession limits, and methods and means for take are the same as for the taking of these salmon species under State of Alaska fishing regulations (5 AAC 56, 5 AAC 57 and 5 AAC 77.540), except for the following harvest and possession limits:

Table 10 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSizeLimits
Chinook salmon— (January 1 through July 15)Less than 46 inches or 55 inches and longer2 per day and 2 in possession.
Chinook salmon— (July 16 through August 31)20 inches and longer2 per day and 2 in possession.
All other salmon16 inches and longer6 per day and 6 in possession, of which no more than 4 per day and 4 in possession may be Coho salmon, except for the Sanctuary Area and Russian River where no more than 2 per day and 2 in possession may be Coho salmon.

(i) In the Kenai River below Skilak Lake, fishing is allowed with up to two baited single or treble hooks June 15 through August 31.

(ii) Annual harvest limits for any combination of Chinook salmon are four for each permit holder.

(iii) Incidentally caught fish, other than salmon, are subject to regulations found in paragraph (e)(10)(iii)(D) of this section.

(D) Kenai River and tributaries under ice jigging and rod and reel; resident species. (1) For federally managed waters of the Kenai River and its tributaries below Skilak Lake outlet at river mile 50, you may take resident fish species including lake trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden or Arctic char with jigging gear through the ice or rod and reel gear in open waters. Seasons, areas, harvest and possession limits, and methods and means for take are the same as for the taking of these resident species under State of Alaska fishing regulations (5 AAC 56, 5 AAC 57, and 5 AAC 77.540), except for the following harvest and possession limits:

Table 11 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSpecificationsLimits
Lake trout20 inches or longer4 per day and 4 in possession.
Less than 20 inches15 per day and 15 in possession.
Dolly Varden or Arctic charIn flowing watersFor fish less than 18 inches, 1 per day and 1 in possession.
In lakes and ponds2 per day and 2 in possession, of which only one may be 20 inches or longer, may be harvested daily.
Rainbow or steelhead troutIn flowing watersFor fish less than 18 inches in length, 1 per day and 1 in possession.
In lakes and ponds2 per day and 2 in possession, of which only one fish 20 inches or longer may be harvested daily.

(2) For federally managed waters of the upper Kenai River and its tributaries above Skilak Lake outlet at river mile 50, you may take resident fish species including lake trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden or Arctic char with jigging gear through the ice or rod and reel gear in open waters. Seasons, areas, harvest and possession limits, and methods and means for take are the same as for the taking of these resident species under Alaska fishing regulations (5 AAC 56, 5 AAC 57, 5 AAC 77.540), except for the following harvest and possession limits:

Table 12 to Paragraph (e)(10)

SpeciesSpecificationsLimits
Lake trout20 inches or longer4 per day and 4 in possession.
Less than 20 inches15 per day and 15 in possession.
From Hidden Lake2 per day and 2 in possession regardless of length.
Dolly Varden or Arctic charIn flowing watersFor fish less than 16 inches in length, 1 per day and 1 in possession.
In lakes and ponds2 per day and 2 in possession, of which only one fish 20 inches or longer may be harvested daily.
Start Printed Page 17725
Rainbow or steelhead troutIn flowing watersFor fish less than 16 inches in length, 1 per day and 1 in possession.
In lakes and ponds2 per day and 2 in possession, of which only one fish 20 inches or longer may be harvested daily.

(11) Prince William Sound Area. The Prince William Sound Area includes all waters and drainages of Alaska between the longitude of Cape Fairfield and the longitude of Cape Suckling.

(i) You may take fish, other than rainbow/steelhead trout, in the Prince William Sound Area only under authority of a subsistence fishing permit, except that a permit is not required to take eulachon. You make not take rainbow/steelhead trout, except as otherwise provided for in this paragraph (e)(11).

(A) In the Prince William Sound Area within Chugach National Forest and in the Copper River drainage downstream of Haley Creek, you may accumulate Federal subsistence fishing harvest limits with harvest limits under State of Alaska sport fishing regulations provided that accumulation of fishing harvest limits does not occur during the same day.

(B) You may accumulate harvest limits of salmon authorized for the Copper River drainage upstream from Haley Creek with harvest limits for salmon authorized under State of Alaska sport fishing regulations.

(ii) You may take fish by gear listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section unless restricted in this section or under the terms of a subsistence fishing permit.

(iii) If you catch rainbow/steelhead trout incidentally in other subsistence net fisheries, you may retain them for subsistence purposes, unless restricted in this section.

(iv) In the Copper River drainage, you may take salmon only in the waters of the Upper Copper River District, or in the vicinity of the Native Village of Batzulnetas.

(v) In the Upper Copper River District, you may take salmon only by fish wheels, rod and reel, or dip nets.

(vi) Rainbow/steelhead trout and other freshwater fish caught incidentally to salmon by fish wheel in the Upper Copper River District may be retained.

(vii) Freshwater fish other than rainbow/steelhead trout caught incidentally to salmon by dip net in the Upper Copper River District may be retained. Rainbow/steelhead trout caught incidentally to salmon by dip net in the Upper Copper River District must be released unharmed to the water.

(viii) You may not possess salmon taken under the authority of an Upper Copper River District subsistence fishing permit, or rainbow/steelhead trout caught incidentally to salmon by fish wheel, unless the anal fin has been immediately removed from the fish. You must immediately record all retained fish on the subsistence permit. Immediately means prior to concealing the fish from plain view or transporting the fish more than 50 feet from where the fish was removed from the water.

(ix) You may take salmon in the Upper Copper River District from May 15 through September 30 only.

(x) The total annual harvest limit for subsistence salmon fishing permits in combination for the Glennallen Subdistrict and the Chitina Subdistrict is as follows:

(A) For a household with 1 person, 30 salmon, of which no more than 5 may be Chinook salmon taken by dip net and no more than 5 Chinook taken by rod and reel.

(B) For a household with 2 persons, 60 salmon, of which no more than 5 may be Chinook salmon taken by dip net and no more than 5 Chinook taken by rod and reel, plus 10 salmon for each additional person in a household over 2 persons, except that the household's limit for Chinook salmon taken by dip net or rod and reel does not increase.

(C) Upon request, permits for additional salmon will be issued for no more than a total of 200 salmon for a permit issued to a household with 1 person, of which no more than 5 may be Chinook salmon taken by dip net and no more than 5 Chinook taken by rod and reel, or no more than a total of 500 salmon for a permit issued to a household with 2 or more persons, of which no more than 5 may be Chinook salmon taken by dip net and no more than 5 Chinook taken by rod and reel.

(xi) The following apply to Upper Copper River District subsistence salmon fishing permits:

(A) Only one subsistence fishing permit per subdistrict will be issued to each household per year. If a household has been issued permits for both subdistricts in the same year, both permits must be in your possession and readily available for inspection while fishing or transporting subsistence-taken fish in either subdistrict. A qualified household may also be issued a Batzulnetas salmon fishery permit in the same year.

(B) Multiple types of gear may be specified on a permit, although only one unit of gear per person may be operated at any one time.

(C) You must return your permit no later than October 31 of the year in which the permit is issued, or you may be denied a permit for the following year.

(D) A fish wheel may be operated only by one permit holder at one time; that permit holder must have the fish wheel marked as required by paragraph (e)(11)(xii)(B) or (e)(11)(xiii)(E) of this section and during fishing operations.

(E) Only the permit holder and the authorized member(s) of the household listed on the subsistence permit may take salmon.

(F) You must personally operate your fish wheel or dip net.

(G) You may not loan or transfer a subsistence fish wheel or dip net permit except as permitted.

(H) While you are fishing from a boat or other watercraft, you may not use any device that indicates bathymetry and/or fish locations, e.g., fish finders. These devices do not have to be removed or uninstalled from a boat or watercraft.

(xii) If you are a fish wheel owner:

(A) You must register your fish wheel with ADF&G or the Federal Subsistence Board.

(B) Your registration number and a wood, metal, or plastic plate at least 12 inches high by 12 inches wide bearing either your name and address, or your Alaska driver's license number, or your Alaska State identification card number in letters and numerals at least 1 inch high, must be permanently affixed and plainly visible on the fish wheel when the fish wheel is in the water.

(C) Only the current year's registration number may be affixed to the fish wheel; you must remove any other registration number from the fish wheel.

(D) You are responsible for the fish wheel; you must remove the fish wheel from the water at the end of the permit period.

(E) You may not rent, lease, or otherwise use your fish wheel used for subsistence fishing for personal gain.

(xiii) If you are operating a fish wheel:

(A) You may operate only one fish wheel at any one time.Start Printed Page 17726

(B) You may not set or operate a fish wheel within 75 feet of another fish wheel.

(C) You must check your fish wheel at least once every 10 hours and remove all fish.

(D) No fish wheel may have more than two baskets.

(E) If you are a permittee other than the owner, you must attach an additional wood, metal, or plastic plate at least 12 inches high by 12 inches wide, bearing your name and address in letters and numerals at least 1 inch high, to the fish wheel so that the name and address are plainly visible.

(xiv) A subsistence fishing permit may be issued to a village council, or other similarly qualified organization whose members operate fish wheels for subsistence purposes in the Upper Copper River District, to operate fish wheels on behalf of members of its village or organization. The following additional provisions apply to subsistence fishing permits issued under this paragraph (e)(11)(xiv):

(A) The permit will list all households and household members for whom the fish wheel is being operated. The permit will identify a person who will be responsible for the fish wheel and will be the same person as is listed on the fish wheel described in paragraph (e)(11)(xiii)(E) of this section.

(B) The allowable harvest may not exceed the combined seasonal limits for the households listed on the permit; the permittee will notify the ADF&G or Federal Subsistence Board when households are added to the list, and the seasonal limit may be adjusted accordingly.

(C) Members of households listed on a permit issued to a village council or other similarly qualified organization are not eligible for a separate household subsistence fishing permit for the Upper Copper River District.

(D) The permit will include provisions for recording daily catches for each fish wheel; location and number of fish wheels; full legal name of the individual responsible for the lawful operation of each fish wheel as described in paragraph (e)(11)(xiii)(E) of this section; and other information determined to be necessary for effective resource management.

(xv) You may take salmon in the vicinity of the former Native village of Batzulnetas only under the authority of a Batzulnetas subsistence salmon fishing permit available from the National Park Service under the following conditions:

(A) You may take salmon only in those waters of the Copper River between National Park Service regulatory markers located near the mouth of Tanada Creek and approximately one-half mile downstream from that mouth and in Tanada Creek between National Park Service regulatory markers identifying the open waters of the creek.

(B) You may use only fish wheels, dip nets, and rod and reel on the Copper River and only dip nets, spears, fyke nets, and rod and reel in Tanada Creek. One fyke net and associated lead may be used in Tanada Creek upstream of the National Park Service weir.

(C) You may take salmon only from May 15 through September 30 or until the season is closed by special action.

(D) You may retain Chinook salmon taken in a fish wheel in the Copper River. You must return to the water unharmed any Chinook salmon caught in Tanada Creek.

(E) You must return the permit to the National Park Service no later than October 15 of the year the permit was issued.

(F) You may only use a fyke net after consultation with the in-season manager. You must be present when the fyke net is actively fishing. You may take no more than 1,000 sockeye salmon in Tanada Creek with a fyke net.

(xvi) You may take pink salmon for subsistence purposes from fresh water with a dip net from May 15 through September 30, 7 days per week, with no harvest or possession limits in the following areas:

(A) Green Island, Knight Island, Chenega Island, Bainbridge Island, Evans Island, Elrington Island, Latouche Island, and adjacent islands, and the mainland waters from the outer point of Granite Bay located in Knight Island Passage to Cape Fairfield;

(B) Waters north of a line from Porcupine Point to Granite Point, and south of a line from Point Lowe to Tongue Point.

(xvii) In the Chugach National Forest portion of the Prince William Sound Area, you must possess a Federal subsistence fishing permit to take salmon, trout, whitefish, grayling, Dolly Varden, or char. Permits are available from the Cordova Ranger District.

(A) Salmon harvest is not allowed in Eyak Lake and its tributaries, Copper River and its tributaries, and Eyak River upstream from the Copper River Highway bridge.

(B) You must record on your subsistence permit the number of subsistence fish taken. You must record all harvested fish prior to leaving the fishing site, and return the permit by the due date marked on the permit.

(C) You must remove both lobes of the caudal (tail) fin from subsistence-caught salmon before leaving the fishing site.

(D) You may take salmon by rod and reel, dip net, spear, and gaff year round.

(E) For a household with 1 person, 15 salmon (other than pink) may be taken, and 5 cutthroat trout, with only 2 over 20 inches, may be taken; for pink salmon, see the conditions of the permit.

(F) For a household with 2 persons, 30 salmon (other than pink) may be taken, plus an additional 10 salmon for each additional person in a household over 2 persons, and 5 cutthroat trout, with only 2 over 20 inches per each household member with a maximum household limit of 30 cutthroat trout may be taken; for pink salmon, see the conditions of the permit.

(G) You may take Dolly Varden, Arctic char, whitefish, and grayling with rod and reel and spear year round and with a gillnet from January 1-April 1. The maximum incidental gillnet harvest of trout is 10.

(H) You may take cutthroat trout with rod and reel and spear from June 15 to April 14th and with a gillnet from January 1 to April 1.

(I) You may not retain rainbow/steelhead trout for subsistence unless taken incidentally in a subsistence gillnet fishery. Rainbow/steelhead trout must be immediately released from a dip net without harm.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Sue Detwiler,

Assistant Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Gregory Risdahl,

Subsistence Program Leader, USDA-Forest Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-07016 Filed 4-5-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3411-15-P; 4333-15-P